HLF Yorkshire and the Humber Committee welcomes new Chair

Sir Ron Cooke in front of York Minster

His appointment takes effect from April 1st and his first meeting is in June 2017.

Sir Ron has extensive experience working within the academic, environment and built heritage sectors.

The HLF Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber is made up of leading figures in the heritage sector across the region chosen for their wide range of experience and local knowledge.

Responsible for making decisions on regional applications to the fund from £100,000 to £2million, the committee are supported by the regional HLF team for Yorkshire and the Humber who operate from Leeds-based offices.

Using money raised through the National Lottery HLF supports an amazing array of projects that encompass all aspects of the UK’s rich and diverse heritage. Since 1994 over £500m of money from National Lottery players has been distributed to over 3,370 projects in Yorkshire and the Humber, ranging from York Minister and the National Coal Mining Museum (Wakefield), to Leeds Museum and Experience Barnsley.

Commenting on his appointment, Sir Ron Cooke said: “I’d like to acknowledge the massive contribution of the HLF team in Leeds to promoting so successfully the many HLF projects in Yorkshire and Humber over recent years. Our heritage is now in much better shape, and the involvement of people from all walks of life has greatly increased. Yorkshire and Humber’s fame and pride has grown even more as a result of their hard work.

“Money from National Lottery players is an incredibly important source of funding in the region, and heritage means so much, and so many different things to people and communities across Yorkshire. There are still many heritage projects coming forward, big and small, and the number of enquires is rising. I‘m looking forward to working with our new Head of Region and the team to achieve as many of them as funds allow.”

HLF supported an amazing array of projects that encompass all aspects of the UK’s rich and diverse heritage. The Yorkshire and the Humber Committee covers the North, South and West Yorkshire, as well as Hull, the East Riding and North Lincolnshire. The grants cover projects ranging from restoration of historic buildings, improvements to museums and galleries, makeovers for town parks, purchasing works of art and treasured artefacts, helping to conserve the natural environment, and promoting community involvement in conserving local social histories. HLF is also actively involved in supporting a wide range of projects marking the centenary of the First World War. The projects are both large and small ranging from multi-million pound building refurbishments to local youngsters tracing the history of their local town and filming a DVD or producing a play.


Sir Ron Cooke was Vice Chancellor of the University of York from 1993-2002. Before that he was Professor of Geography in the University of London, with research interests in geomorphology (the study of landforms), as it applies to deserts, building decay, environmental change and environmental management. He has held several academic posts, including Vice -Provost of University College London.

He has been President of the Royal Geographical Society, and chairman of numerous agencies, charities and two companies, including Geomorphological Services Ltd, the Joint Information Systems Committee, The Yorkshire Arboretum, York Civic Trust, and the City of York's Local Strategic Partnership, and its Reinvigorate York project. He has been a Trustee of the National Museum of Science and Industry, and member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

His interests in heritage range from landscape analysis, through the study of the quality of the public realm in heritage cities, to the decay of heritage buildings.

Two related publications are Crumbling Heritage? (with G.Gibbs, l993, work carried out with the Central Electricity Generating Board and The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England); and York - changing the face of the city ( 2016), a study of changes to heritage streetscapes.

He is an Honorary Freeman of the City of York, a former Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

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